New York developer scaling back height of downtown St. Pete condo tower

Red Apple Group is now considering two buildings instead of one on the 400 block of Central Avenue.
Work vehicles are seen on the 400 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg where geotechnical engineers are doing test borings for a planned condo and hotel project. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Work vehicles are seen on the 400 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg where geotechnical engineers are doing test borings for a planned condo and hotel project. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published June 24
Updated June 24

ST. PETERSBURG — A condo and hotel tower planned for the 400 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg won't be quite as towering as initially planned.

Because of height limits imposed by proximity to Albert Whitted Airport, a New York developer is now considering two shorter buildings rather than one tower of 50 or more stories.

"We weren't able to accomplish what we ideally wanted so we're looking at a revised scheme where we're going to separate the hotel from the condos,'' Ralph Zirinsky of Red Apple Real Estate said Monday.

Zirinsky said it is uncertain how many floors the condo tower will have but "it's still going to be a pretty tall building.''

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Red Apple hopes to submit plans to the city this year and start construction early next year, Zirinsky said. For the past several days, geotechnical engineers have been doing test borings on the two-acre site. "We want to fully understand the subsurface conditions so we adequately design the foundation for the buildings,'' Zirinsky said.

The hotel, which will be managed by Marriott under one of its boutique brands, will share parking space with the condo tower. The overall project will include office space entered off Central Avenue.

The tallest building now in St. Petersburg is the 41-story ONE St. Petersburg condo tower on First Avenue N and First Street.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

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